Quick Take:

While the holidays are usually a slow time for home buying and selling, this quick review of November real estate sales...

Unsung Santa Cruz: Her call to duty is stronger than most, but she is also only human

READ THE SERIES: “Unsung Santa Cruz” features Santa Cruzans like Renee Fenker who make the area a better place to live. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

“They don’t train you for fighting fires at the buildings you learned to read in”: No one could prepare volunteer fire captain Renee Fenker for what it would be like defending the San Lorenzo Valley area she grew up in — or being unable to defend her family’s longtime house from the CZU fire flames. Lookout’s Grace Stetson tells Fenker’s story.

THE FULL SERIES: Find all our Unsung Santa Cruz stories here

COVID-19 has done what nothing else could — finally stop the California Gold Rush

Traffic on a California road

Wallace Baine’s Sunday column: With fewer people moving to the Golden State and more than ever leaving, it’s clear that the higher the cost to get in the gate, and the more technology is devoted to keeping you out, the harder it gets to fake your way in. Santa Cruz’s longest-serving journalist contrasts then to now.

How he became a go-to resource for Santa Cruz’s unhoused population at Vets Hall

Hector Borjas stands in front of Veterans Hall.
Hector Borjas stands in front of Veterans Hall. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Unsung Santa Cruz: Hector Borjas had “zero experience” with the homeless population when he began as a supervisor at the Santa Cruz Veterans Hall in August 2020. Yet over the course of a year at the emergency shelter, the 30-year-old UCSC graduate found commonalities with the residents from his own childhood, and was able to connect with residents for guidance and assistance. Read Grace’s profile here.

Best of the week (ICYMI)

Hanloh's Rustic Pad Thai Kits have everything you need to make authentic Pad Thai for six in your own home.

EATERS DIGEST: Rustic Ales’ food transition, Hanloh pad thai at home & Gayle’s holiday treats (Lily Belli)
Local eateries vs. the supply-chain blues: What we learned about pricing switch-ups, menu casualties, sourcing (Lily Belli)
Men accused of vandalizing Black Lives Matter mural to stand trial (Max Chun)
Sewing, rock erosion and coding: How some elementary students are learning about computer science (Hillary Ojeda)

A veteran jack-of-all-trades journalist who is Lookout’s copy editor, writes and compiles Morning Lookout newsletter and produces Lookout’s other editorial newsletters and helps run Lookout’s social...